Whitman swimmers rout Pacific University Boxers


Credit: Bullion
Credit: Bullion

The Saturday, Nov. 7, swim meet was dominated by both Whitman teams. The size advantage over Pacific University’s teams: Whitman had over three times as many swimmers entered into events as Pacific: was a major boost and helped add to the final scores. The Whitman men routed Pacific University 155-20 and the women dominated with a 135-59 victory. The men won every race except for one individual race.

Junior captain Lauren Flynn and three first-years, Charlotte Graham, Katie Chapman and Helen Jenne, set a new school record in their win of the 200-yard freestyle relay.

“I’m thrilled about [Jenne, Graham, Chapman and my] performances in both the 200- and 400-free relays this weekend,” said Flynn. “The relays serve as a great indicator for the status of the women’s team as a whole this season.”

Flynn also won two individual events, the 200- and the 100-yard freestyle races. Graham, Chapman and Jenne individually won the 100-yard backstroke, 100-yard butterfly and the 50-yard freestyle, respectively. Chapman and Graham were part of the 200-yard medley relay winning team, which also included fellow first-years Libby Arnosti and Rebecca Ryle. Graham’s time of 1.02.56 in the 100-yard backstroke earned her second place. Chapman came in third for 100-yard butterfly with a time of 1.01. Jenne also moved into seventh place in the 50-yard freestyle with her time of 25.52. Sophomore Katie Tackman and senior Sidney Kohls finished first and second, respectively, in the 1,650-yard freestyle and Ryle won a very competitive race of the 100-yard breaststroke, just 14 hundredths of a second in front of Pacific’s Kristen Favillo.

Credit: Bullion
Credit: Bullion

Flynn commented on the addition of the first-years having drastically altered the mood of the team.

“We have incredible depth due to our size and incredible potential for success thanks to our relative youth, enormous work ethic and raw talent. The boisterous first-years keep energy levels high and training intensity honest,” said Flynn. “They are fearless and have no qualms about ‘dethroning’ upperclassmen: be it on the record board or in the weight room.”

That being said, the rest of the team has responded accordingly.

“The sophomores, juniors and seniors will not throw in the towel without a fight: and this special tension creates an optimal training environment. It is fabulous because everyone benefits from being pushed to train harder and race faster,” said Flynn.

On the men’s side, the 200-yard breaststroke was very competitive with sophomore Mitchell Lee snatching first place by just two hundredths of a second over Pacific’s Luke Fuller, while senior Nick Hurlburt and junior Nick Wood filled out third and fourth place, less than half a second off of first place. Senior Eric Molnar won both the 400-yard individual medley and 100-yard backstroke, while first-year Joey Gottlieb finished as a close second in the backstroke event. Junior Jamie Nusse earned two first place finishes in the 500-yard freestyle and the 50-yard freestyle. First-year Kevin Dyer won the 1650-yard freestyle with a time of 17.26.34, edging out the current school record holder in that event, sophomore Chris Bendix. More wins for the men’s team include sophomore Matthew Liedtke in the 100-yard butterfly and first-year Paul Chang in the 100-yard freestyle. The first relay team, sophomore Matt Rowett, Chang, Hurlburt and Nusse, won the 200-yard medley. Chang, Gottlieb, Dyer and Lee won the 200-yard freestyle as another relay team.

At the meet, lane four seemed to be the lucky lane with many of the winning individuals and teams swimming in it. The Whitman team clearly is a very close team because of the excitement and support they share. They are constantly cheering for their teammates in races and trying to encourage everyone to swim his or her best.

“It is difficult to contain my (and our) excitement, so instead we channel that energy into making cute squealing noises, hopping up and down, dancing and swimming. We have set some challenging goals for ourselves, and this weekend was step one,” Flynn said.